About Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii is an archipelago located between 55–125 km (34–78 mi) off the northern Pacific coast of Canada.

Graham Island and Moresby Island, the two main Haida Gwaii islands, are in the south. Towns in Haida Gwaii include Masset, Skidegate, and Queen Charlotte. All are on Graham Island.

There are about 400 smaller islands. To the east, Hecate Strait separates the islands from the mainland. Queen Charlotte Sound lies to the south, with Vancouver Island beyond. To the north, the Dixon Entrance separates Haida Gwaii from the Alexander Archipelago in the U.S. state of Alaska.

From 1787 until 2010 the islands were known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, and colloquially as “the Charlottes.” June 3, 2010, the Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act formally renamed the archipelago as part of the Kunst’aa guu- Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol between British Columbia and the Haida people. Translated, Haida Gwaii (/ˈ’aɪdə ‘ɡwaɪ/; Haida: X̱aaydag̱a Gwaay.yaay/X̱aayda gwaay) means “Islands of the Haida people.”

The Haida Gwaii islands form the heartland of the Haida Nation, whose people have lived for 13,000 years. They currently make up approximately half of the population.

Some of the islands are protected under federal legislation as the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. Also protected, but under provincial jurisdiction, are several provincial parks. The largest of these is Naikoon Provincial Park on northeastern Graham Island.

The economy has been based primarily on art and natural resources, but in recent years tourism has become a more prominent contributor. The establishment of the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Ilnygaay has helped enhance aboriginal culture tourism.

The primary transportation links between the islands and mainland B.C. are through the Sandspit Airport, the Masset Airport and the BC Ferries terminal at Skidegate. Floatplane services connect to facilities such as the Alliford Bay Water Aerodrome and Masset Water Aerodrome.

Haida Gwaii is a unique biocultural zone with many endemic plants and animals, including the largest subspecies of black bear in the world, and a unique “adaptive radiation” (a rapidly developing lineage) of stickleback fish.

Throughout the year Haida Gwaii weather and climate tends towards heavy rainfall and relatively mild temperatures.

In the song “Ravens” on their 2017 album A Crow Looked at Me, the Pacific Northwest rock band Mount Eerie mentions the islands. Haida Gwaii is also the setting for John Vaillant’s popular nonfiction book The Golden Spruce. Edge of the Knife (SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna) is the first feature film ever made in the Haida language, and was shot on Haida Gwaii in 2017.

Haida Gwaii Real Estate Highlights

A Haida Gwaii real estate search in November 2021 revealed homes ranging in price from a 4 bed/2bath home for $474,000 to a 5 bed/4 bath for $1,250,000. Both were in Massett.


Around 6000 people live on the islands. Masset, Skidegate and Queen Charlotte are each home to about 800 people. Most of the Indigenous people (Haida) live in Skidegate and Old Massett. In total the Haida make up 45 percent of the islands’ population.

Amenities in Haida Gwaii


Haida Gwaii is home to school district 50 which is made up of four elementary schools (K-7) and two secondary schools (8-12). The schools reside in Masset, Skidegate, Queen Charlotte and Port Clements. Masset being the only city that currently has both an elementary and a secondary school.

Parks, Sports & Recreation

Visitors often go to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. Although only a handful of vessels are licensed to bring guests into the park, there are five heritage sites that offer a glimpse into the pre-colonial past of Haida Gwaii. The site of a former village, SGang Gwaay, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. “Walking through the quiet paths of SGang Gwaay is a spiritual experience, no less compelling than witnessing the stone heads at Easter Island, the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, or the standing stones at Stonehenge,” wrote Todd Plummer at Vogue.com in 2019.

The Haida Gwaii islands are also known for world-class BC salmon and halibut fishing. From saltwater fishing to freshwater fishing the islands boast recreational chartered fishing tours as well as fishing lodges and resorts.

Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Haida art plays an important role in the development of Pacific Northwest Coast native art styles. Many carvers in the region use a black slate material called argillite, found only on Haida Gwaii.
Haida argillite carvings often depict many parts of the Haida culture such as a West Coast Native story, mythical spirits, animals, Haida family crests, replicas of totem poles, bentwood boxes, and canoes.

The best known Haida contemporary carvers include Charles Edenshaw, Bill Reid, and Robert Davidson. Reid’s Spirit of Haida Gwaii can be found on the reverse of Canadian $20 bills produced between 2004 and 2011.

Haida art is also frequently seen on monumental-sized cedar totem poles and dugout canoes, hand-crafted gold and silver jewellery, and even in the form of Haida manga.


Masset has Mile Zero Dining Room, Sherrie’s Gas Bar and the Ground Gallery and Coffee House. Skidegate has Jags Beanstalk for espresso and fresh-baked muffins.


There are stores and restaurants in various towns in Haida Gwaii, but not many. Blacktail, in the village of Queen Charlotte (also on Graham Island), is a more recent addition (established 2019) to the Haida Gwaii food scene. It features fresh-caught seafood, locally-grown ingredients, craft beer, wine and cocktails aimed at locals, foodies and tourists.

Gift shops can be found in Skidegate (Long House Gift Shop) and Queen Charlotte City (BCR Trading Post).

Haida Gwaii Real Estate Listings

0 - 0 of 0 Listings
Copyright © Real Estate Guide 2021 | Legal Sitemap
Area Modal Trigger